September 10th marked my one year anniversary since I’ve left the Obama Administration. I was a presidential appointee at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and I am honored and humbled to have served the
first African American President, Mr. Barack Obama and the first African American woman to lead the EPA, former Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. This was an extraordinary opportunity and experience and those of you who are of the Christian faith, understand when I say it was “unmerited favor”! I will cherish this time for the rest of my life.
While I had many accomplishments during my appointment, it was coming ever so clear that journey needed to come to a close. Why you ask? Because after three years as a political appointee, being connected to my blackberry 24 hours and being ready to put out fires at the drop of dime…I quickly realized I wasn’t the type of wife and mother I wanted and needed to be. I wanted and needed to “Lean Out”.
Recognizing there have been numerous books, articles and OpEds around “Leaning In” and “Having it All”, I can’t add much more other than I totally agree that I couldn’t have it all and especially not all at once. Many things suffered…including me. I needed to re-tool and stop trying to be superwoman…or shall I say “wonder” woman (I wonder how I am getting anything done!). I was no longer satisfied with not having enough time for me, my role as wife and mother. Something needed to give, and that something was my political appointment. And now I’m on a more gratifying journey reconnecting with me and being wife and mommy! And I haven’t looked back!
But this decision wasn’t met with a lot of support and smiling faces from all of my girlfriends and female acquaintances. Even my mom was little unsure about this life decision…more so because she always made sure she had her “own money”. She couldn’t quite grasp that I could give up this great opportunity. She eventually came around, though. Some friends and colleagues couldn’t believe I left such a wonderful opportunity to be a stay at home wife and mommy. As if that was such an awful choice! You will not believe the amount of negativity I received as if I had betrayed feminism and lost my mind.
Let’s be clear, my husband didn’t ask me to leave my job to take care of them. In fact, I know I’m the luckiest girl in the world, as he’s been beyond supportive and my biggest fan! This was MY decision and for me the feminist movement is about the ability of making your own choices on your own terms. Ladies, when a woman makes a life decision, let us not play into the nonsensical game that clearly she didn’t make that decision on her own when it doesn’t match up with your personal goals or idea of success. For those women who can manage or decide to manage family and work, I am so proud of you and I wish I had your organizational and multi-tasking skills. I just know, I couldn’t do everything well as I wanted to. I’m just a girl who recognized her limitations and decided to retool her life!
At this point in my life, the role as wife and mom are my priorities…and in that order (will discuss that in a later blog post). I’m having a grand time with my blog and appearing on news shows. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to be the primary caregiver for my child and most importantly seek and meet the needs of my husband without the distraction of a mobile device. And, I’m quite alright with how this life decision helped me see those that are my true girlfriends and supporters. I value the women who are there for me without judgment but love and support me…even if it doesn’t fit their idea of success.
A dear friend of mine, Sophia A. Nelson will be releasing a book in October, “The Woman Code”, about how to unlock your life, be supportive of other women and maintaining a close circle of women that share the code of love, support and peace. Every woman needs to add this to your library. It is life changing and liberating!
Ladies, it’s time for us to honor, cherish and live The Code. Instead of knocking another sister down because her decision doesn’t line up with what you think success is, be the support that she needs and lift her up. And let go of anyone or anything that’s keeping you from having your best life ever! I know I am! I’m still not the perfect wife and mom, however I have another day to get it right!#ThereIsACode ~ Traditionally Modern, That’s My Point of View!